March 3, 2003 Houman Sarshar To Discuss New Book on Iranian Jews

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Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022

Houman Sarshar, director of publications at the Center for Iranian Jewish Oral History, will discuss his new book, "Esther's Children: A Portrait of Iranian Jews," at noon on Friday, March 14, in the West Dining Room, sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave S.E., Washington, D.C.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored jointly by the Library's African and Middle Eastern Division and the Hebrew Language Table. Tickets are not required.

"Esther's Children" is a comprehensive history of the Jews of Iran from their earliest documented settlement in that land in 722 B.C. through the end of the 20th century. Illustrated in full color with more than 500 images of monuments, manuscripts, objects, and individual and family portraits collected from private and public archives the world over, this unique book includes 25 articles by distinguished authors and scholars in the field of Judeo-Iranian studies. Six of the articles are historical essays that examine the status of Jews in various periods of Iran's history from the Achæmenid Empire to the advent of the Islamic Republic. The remaining articles explore a variety of cultural and sociopolitical subjects pertinent to each historical period. The book ends with a comprehensive bibliography of Judeo-Iranian scholarship containing over 600 English, French, German, Hebrew, and Persian books and journal articles.

Houman Sarshar holds a doctorate degree in comparative literature from Columbia University. In addition to editing and contributing to "Esther's Children," he has co-edited three volumes of "History of Contemporary Iranian Jews." He is also a psychotherapist in private practice in New York.

Founded in Los Angeles on Aug. 9, 1995, the Center for Iranian Jewish Oral History is a non-profit, archival organization that gathers information and interviews people in the fields of Iranian Jewish history, culture, science, literature, social life, politics, art, and economics. To date, the center has conducted 90 interviews, produced 13 video documentaries, and collected nearly 1600 photographs and documents pertaining to the Jews of Iran. This wealth of material is available to academics and the public at large for research purposes.


PR 03-029
ISSN 0731-3527